There is so much I have learned over the years.

How I grew up was special. The way I was raised is special.  The family I have is special.  The lessons I have learned and keep learning, keep making my life especially, special.

All of us have had our own special life experiences, I’ve just finally reached the age where it all makes better sense to me now… The thing about age, isn’t aging, its the finally “getting it” feeling, where you know you’ll never quite “get it”, but thats the agelessness of living your life right.  Not quite “getting it”, not because you don’t want to, but because the world is always changing, as you are always changing and as everyone around you is always, constantly changing.

Maybe I should tell you a little about me.  I know many have an idea about what I am about and what I might be like, if you’re thinking I am anywhere as put together as dad, thank you, but, not even close.  I have a secret too, nobody is ever as put together as you may think and even the most “put together” person has their counterpart of crazy that you may just not know about.  Unlike most people though, I don’t hide my crazy and I am not ashamed of it, I am about as raw as they get and as honest as anyone can be, this is where dad and mom have tried tirelessly, to this day, to get me be a little less raw and to reserve my honesty for only certain people and times.  In a strange way it is how mom and dad have raised me, that I am such a straight shooter and I don’t beat around the bush. I just don’t like bullshit and I think my reaction to bullshit, before I boldly look you in the eye and tell you how I really feel is just to be honest, raw and comfortable in my own skin, so that if you disrespectfully show me how phony you are, at least I know I’m coming from an honest place.

I am my father’s daughter and I am entirely not perfect and I am not entirely a disaster.  I have gone through growing pains as a kid and I’m still going through them, but now I find that I only outgrow people.  I am eccentric and I am grounded.  I have been taught to think freely, speak freely and behave like a lady, but, that too is complicated having been raised a full contact fighter and having been raised as one, before women were ever really fighting much.  I am a woman undefined, I am fluid in nature and I am my own kind of lady with a bit of street fighter brawn.  My father was a man before his time and in a lot of ways I have been his daughter before her time and it is only until recently that I am finally finding my own time-ing.  However, I do like to dance in the silence between the notes, the same way I like to think I can swim between raindrops. I enjoy what I hear in silence and what I paint in the dark.  I have problems, I enjoy finding the solutions to my problems.  My problems have become my strengths and have also showed me the true side of friendships.  Life is an incredible lesson in giving, especially when it teaches you the right people to keep giving to.  The thing about giving, you never feel bad, even when you fell unappreciated, it just makes the friends who appreciate you make you feel better for finding them and for those who don’t appreciate you, it was nice to be nice to them because my parents taught me to be that way.

Most of you haven’t had the experience of growing up Tai Chi, but what you bring with you to Tai Chi has been a part of my life, for my whole life.  You bringing your unique, You.  The experiences I have had growing up amongst this forever growing Tai Chi family have been a kind of education I could never have hoped to want, cause things this great are just what happens to you in your life, you don’t know how to want for things this great.  The one constant I have always gotten from growing up Tai Chi is the genuine, selfless desire to want to learn and seeing the wanting of, in so many different ways and how dad has dealt with all these different interests has been so uniquely sublime.  One of my favorite lessons from Growing up Tai Chi, Truth.

If people really come to want to learn they stay for life.  No matter the personality type, the arrogant, the humble, the tender, the tough, the weak, the strong, the lost, the searching.  We get them all and in some ways I also feel, I too am a bit of each personality type to have ever walked in our doors.  Experiencing the learning process through my perspective, I have watched and observed the different personality types over my whole entire life and it taught me how to see from so many perspectives and how to learn from so many different windows of experiences, so that I was able to learn the true value of learning, which is, nobody is ever 100% right, nobody is ever 100% wrong.  Even if we think we are more right, the only person who is really right is the person who can see best from all perspectives, understanding that their understanding, is merely just their point of view.

Truth, is merely a point of view.  There is Truth to my behavior as their is Truth in the behaviors that I have been the cause for, but how we choose to respond to others is a show of how much we actually truthfully see ourselves.

An interesting thing I have learned through the years is that, what a person perceives in others is the characteristic you either have to be wary of, or appreciative of, in the person, perceiving.  The people who point out that others are “nasty”, be careful, this person is actually what they see in others.  The people who point out the “beauty”, hold on to them, they have so much to teach you about how life can really be.  We really do live in a world filled with beauty and love and the people who don’t express this to you are just helping you see the flip side of their kinds of human being.  Don’t be fooled by the people who “Preach” love and show your their “Nasty”, nasty is nasty, just stay away from it.

When I get a person on the practice floor in form class, this is the most impressionable stage, this is where everyone is still polite and we are all innocently trying to be our best here.  This is where trust is earned and a connection can be made, not just a connection between teacher and student, this is where the student is really able to connect with themselves and feel if Tai Chi is right for them or if its just not the right time for them at the moment, cause timing too, is so essential in life.

Ive heard people talk about coming to the school and disappearing from the school and a lot of times people like to blame a particular teacher for not continuing or a particular student for putting them off.  The truth is, if you are really here to learn, you would also understand that you are responsible for your own learning process.  If you are just someone who comes in for the vanity of it all, you will find every way to make yourself the center of the attention you did not get, the way you wanted to get it.  The thing with learning, it’s only meant for those who want to listen, it’s not meant for those who desperately hunger for the need to want to be selfishly heard amongst those they so desperately are trying to be like.  To learn, you just need to be you.

Tai Chi is brilliant this way, if you truly want to learn, you are forced to listen because of some deeper driving inner force within you, it’s you being honest with you, doing the right thing for you, you being your best friend, or you choose to leave, it’s your decision.

Truth runs deep for most and skims the surface for many.

I was speaking to many of our Tai Chi family, students who have traveled with us and competed along side each other and it was incredible to see the evolution myself through these students eyes.  Even one being able to laugh about what a relentless bitch I used to be to him, but he wouldn’t even use the word bitch, he just very kindly said “When you used to go at me”.  It was refreshing and enlightening to see my Truth through the eyes of my father’s students and it was comforting to know, that no matter what, they sense my Truth in their own way and still, to this day are people I don’t call students, they are family.

I see a lot of Truth unveiled in people through my Tai Chi life, but I learn the greatest Truth about myself from my Tai Chi family.

Tai Chi really does keep together the Truth and Weeds out the Phony.

It takes time learning this, but it’s worth it all to live a life rooted in Truth.

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